3 Steps: How to 10X Your Songwriting Salary, Dreams and Goals

How to 10x Your Songwriter Salary, Dreams, and Goals

Prayitno, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons (Cropped)

In this article, we’re going to dream up and think big. Actually, scratch that! We’re going to think and dream HUGE. The following is an incredible exercise that should blow your mind in a great way and it’s all about increasing your mindset ceiling.

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What’s a mindset ceiling, you ask? It’s basically where you are right now and what you think is possible, and the parameters you’ve provided for yourself to work within. Through this exercise we’re going to measure if you’re really engaging in important, challenging, and courageous work, or if you’re merely “putting in the hours.”

And I want to give credit to Dan Sullivan at Strategic Coach, who is the world’s pre-eminent coach for entrepreneurs, for inspiring the idea behind this piece. I can’t recommend Dan’s thinking process enough, as I’ve also been a part of his Strategic Coach group.

Why do I think Dan’s “entrepreneur coaching” is so important to your songwriting? “I’m not an entrepreneur,” you say. Oh yes, you are! An entrepreneur is in the “results” economy vs most people who are in the “putting in the hours” economy. You – only get paid for results. So recognizing this, we can reshape our thinking and try on some new mindsets.

Meet Dan Sullivan!


Are you ready? Let’s get started with the exercise.

Part 1 – Give Yourself a Huge Raise (by 10X)

First, I want you to get in your mind what your annual income as a musician / songwriter / artist is probably going to be for this year (even if you have to guess). It doesn’t matter if that number right now is $35,000, $150,000, or $1 million (lucky you). The results of the exercise will still be the same.

Now, let’s multiply that number by a factor of 10X.

So, if you are making $35,000 per year, your new annual income is now $350,000. If your current annual income was $150,000, it’s now $1.5 million. Lastly, if you’re successful enough to be earning $1 million per year (and don’t think that’s not impossible), your new annual income from making music would be $10 million. Yes, that’s $10 million per year.

increasing bags of money

As my friend Jesse Thomas would say, “Let’s get that bag!”

Take a moment to envision your new annual income. That’s right – get this new annual salary in your mind and “feel” that new number. Go ahead – Try it on. Now, you might experience some emotions regarding that new number. And it’s ok if that new number might make you nervous. Or maybe you’re thinking “That 10X salary sounds awesome, but um, yeah, that’s just not possible.” You might even consider, “Hmm, that’s pretty scary. Could that actually happen?

It can.

Part 2 – Analyze Your Current Activities

So now that we have your new annual salary, the 2nd part of the exercise is to reflect on the past three months of your songwriting and/or artist activities. This exercise is even better if you have your calendar handy so you can go back three months and examine each week and day.

Now, let’s look at those last 3 months. Are all of those activities, the people you’re working with, the songs you’re writing, etc. are all congruent with that new 10x salary? In other words, honestly assess whether your activities over the past three months to a year, align with your new 10X income goal?

For instance, let’s assume you were earning $75,000 per year as an artist/songwriter. Your new 10X salary is $750,000. Are the levels at which you have been operating in the last three months congruent with that $750,000 per annual goal?

3 months


I actually did this exercise myself – and it made me realize how much bigger of a game I need to play – in order to achieve those 10X results. And even more importantly, what activities, habits, etc. I need to drop – to make more time for that bigger picture goal.

Note: this might also be a key time to also explore another recent article “10X is Easier than 2X.” You can’t work 10X harder to make 10X of an income. But you can think and strategize your way to a 10X result – and work even less than you are now.

So grab a coffee or find some quiet time and take another hour for this. Really consider what activities, strategies, courageous work (and people) you can add to your new path to align with your new 10X salary. And almost as importantly – what do you have to eliminate? What hasn’t been working? It may be challenging, but it’s essential to review these questions thoroughly.

I have some additional prompts for you to work with. When it comes to your 10X / year salary, get that big number in mind again. Really own that as if the 10X salary has already happened. Ask yourselves these questions within that framework.

What types of creative endeavors are you now engaging in?

Who are your collaborators and team members helping you achieve these activities?

Where were you playing it safe previously? Now what are you doing to get yourself out of your comfort zone? Nothing great ever came from comfort zones.

Do you need to add or drop people in your circle to achieve that 10X elevation? Who are they?

Are your cowriters delivering the song results? If not – who can?

What tasks or responsibilities can you eliminate that are below your pay grade?

What are your new mindset, beliefs, and identity regarding yourself and your career compared to your “old” salary? (this is a very important one).

What is your new level of grit and work ethic?

What were the obstacles you had to overcome in your 10X annual salary and how did you overcome them?

This presents you with an opportunity to completely reinvent yourself and align those activities, collaborators and mindset / beliefs that will propel you toward a 10X income.

Furthermore, this process inherently encompasses your dreams, goals, and visions. It’s not merely a matter of money. Because, if you’re able to achieve a 10X increase in income, you’ll find that your dreams, visions, and the impact you have on others and the world will also undergo a remarkable 10X transformation.

increasing income, goals, impact

Each time I do this, I gain a fresh perspective on what to add, create, and eliminate – whether it be items, activities, or people – in order to align with my 10X goals for myself and my company.

Part 3 – You’ve Already Done This

Lastly, the 3rd part of the exercise is really amazing. The last part of the exercise is to realize that 10Xing your annual income is absolutely a reality. I can prove it to you with certainty – right now. How? Because YOU’VE ALREADY DONE IT! That’s right. Even if you are presently earning $50,000 a year from making music, there was a time not too long ago when you were just getting started and making $5,000 (or less) per year. And if you’re hitting it out of the park and making $250,000 a year, indeed there was a time when your annual music salary was just $25,000 a year.

So the idea that you can and will 10X where you are currently – given time – is entirely a high probability and a likely, future fact!

Lastly, if you want to get completely woo-woo here, let’s take a note from Dr. Joe Dispenza. If you believe in quantum realm theory and manifestation (I do), there’s an existing universe and reality, where this alternative version of you – actually already exists. We just need to pull your alternative reality from that universe into your present universe.

Either way – let’s get it.

Hope you enjoyed this one. If you liked it, there are some other related articles you might enjoy:

10X Is Easier Than 2X:

How To Create and Manifest Your Hit Songwriting Future:

The Stories We Tell Ourselves – Create Your New Songwriter Story:

See you in the 10X lane,


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About the Author

The Author of “How Do I Get A Record Deal? Sign Yourself!”

My career in music publishing extends over 25 years, including BMG Music (bought by Universal) and EMI Music Publishing (bought by Sony), as well as the 1st U.S. employee of Kobalt Music Publishing, where he helped build the roster over 10 years as Executive VP of Creative.

Benjamin is currently heading up his own publishing company, Brill Building, as well as label and music filter, We Are: The Guard. Benjamin’s signings range from Ryan Tedder, Kelly Clarkson, The Lumineers, Grimes, Savan Kotecha, OneRepublic, SOPHIE, Ariel Rechtshaid, Greg Kurstin, Tiesto, Kid Cudi, TOKiMONSTA, TR/ST, Cut Copy, Big Freedia, Lindy Robbins, Peaches and yes, even Steel Panther. His specialty in the music business is early artist, writer and writer/producer development.

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